Employee Handbook

3.11 Flexible Work Arrangements

Revised January 1, 2011

Macalester supports flexible work arrangements in situations which will benefit the employee, the work unit or department, and the College. In many cases, flexible work arrangements will lead to a higher level of satisfaction and productivity for employees. Flexible work arrangements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The number and type of flexible schedules may vary widely around campus depending on the needs of those being served. These arrangements may be flexible hours, compressed work weeks, job sharing, or telecommuting.

3.11.1 Flexible Hours and Compressed Work Weeks

Many employees are given the opportunity to schedule their own working hours in consultation with their supervisor, within the limitations set by Macalester, in order to meet the goals and objectives of the work unit or department.

Generally, full-time employees work 7.75 hours each day and arrive and leave within specified two-hour periods: employees may arrive anytime between 6:45 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., work 7.75 hours, and leave anytime between 3:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. (allowing a minimum of 30 minutes for lunch).

Established arrival and departure times should be consistent day to day and week to week. When necessary, individual offices or departments have the option of revising these arrival/departure hours to meet specific needs with the approval of the direct report.

This optional authority includes the flexibility to schedule a compressed workweek, again with the approval of the direct report, but also subject to review by the Director of Employment Services. The Director of Employment Services will review compressed work week proposals to ensure that the following standards are met:

  • Arrival and departure times, and days of work, are consistent day to day and week to week;
  • Employees are notified at the inception of the compressed work week schedule that scheduled days may not be moved to accommodate holidays or vacation scheduling
  • In the event a staff employee claims paid leave time (medical, vacation, regular or floating paid holidays, ect.), the time reported should be based on the usual and customary schedule had the employee worked the day

Each employee is expected to adhere to the general guidelines and to continue to meet job commitments and responsibilities. This includes taking the needs of the work group into consideration when choosing a personal work schedule. An employee is also expected to avoid disruption of others' work in arrivals, departures, and breaks.

Fair administration of the general guideline will be the responsibility of each supervisor. In addition, supervisory duties will include maintaining customer and co-workers communications, satisfactory scheduling, and group morale.

3.11.2 Summer Hours

A compressed work week arrangement is available to all eligible staff employees during the summer months. Summer hours are in force for the thirteen-week period immediately following commencement. Observance of the summer hours schedule may be superseded by the business needs of the college for individual departments based of direction of the applicable senior staff member.

The following rules apply for offices/departments with summer hours in effect:

Regular work hours are rearranged during the summer hour period to allow staff employees to be free from work on Friday afternoon (for a 1 FTE employee):

  • 8.5 hours per day Monday through Thursday
  • 4.75 hours on Friday.
  • Flexible hours can substitute the summer schedule for individual employees, see 3.11.1 for more details and guidelines

In the event that a regular college holiday falls during the observed summer hour period, hours reported for the holiday should be based on their usual and customary schedule had the employee worked the day – see policy 11.9 for more detail.

Schedule Guidelines for Employees:

  • Employees may arrive anytime between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., and work 8.5 hours Monday through Thursday, and leave anytime between 3:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., allowing a minimum of 30 minute for lunch
  • On Fridays, employees may arrive anytime between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., work 4.75 hours, and leave between 11:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Schedule Guidelines for Offices/Departments:

  • Monday through Thursday – offices/departments must open at least by 8 a.m. and close no earlier than 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday – offices/departments must be open 4.75 hours opening between 6:30am to 8:30am and closing between 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Departments or offices that require an exception to this schedule, due to business need, should consult with their direct reports for alternative schedules.

3.11.3 Job Sharing

Policy

It is the policy of the College to provide opportunities for employees to participate in job sharing when such opportunities become available. Job sharing is defined as two employees sharing the work responsibilities of one full-time (.75 FTE or more) position concurrently. Job share partners should be capable of performing all job functions within a position.

Eligibility

This policy applies to all Macalester staff employees, with the exception of those covered by collective bargaining agreements and student employees.

Procedures

To request a job sharing arrangement, begin by meeting with your supervisor to discuss your request. You and your supervisor should carefully review the "Guidelines" and "Questions and Answers" provided below to determine whether job sharing is a viable arrangement for your position. If you believe that your request falls within the guidelines and that the request will likely lead to a successful job sharing arrangement, you need to develop a written proposal. A written proposal requesting a job share arrangement should include:

  • Business case that demonstrates how a job sharing arrangement will be mutually beneficial for you as well as Macalester
  • Proposed work schedule including what will happen with planned/unplanned absences
  • Plan for sharing duties/assignments and equipment/facilities
  • Communication plan for working with the job share partner, team and manager

Please remember that your supervisor may establish guidelines/parameters for job sharing that are specific to your job and/or department. Supervisor support is a necessary condition for submitting a written proposal. Once your supervisor has reviewed and approved the written proposal, it should be forwarded to the Direct Report to the President for your area for approval. Finally, the written proposal needs to be forwarded to Employment Services for approval. The Employment Services Department is available to assist you throughout this process.

Guidelines

  • Job Sharing is a voluntary arrangement. Your supervisor, the direct report to the President for your area, and Employment Services must approve your job sharing arrangement. Management will retain authority to approve or reject a job sharing request following a review of the applicability of the job sharing arrangement to the job in question.
  • Persons who equally share a single position are job share employees. Not all jobs are suitable for job sharing. Factors to be considered include: the nature of the job, operating needs of the department, the potential impact on the department's clients, and the potential cost to the College for additional equipment, temporary help, etc.
  • Job sharers must assume the primary responsibility for necessary reporting between themselves and their supervisor. The employees' job performance evaluations will, in fact, take into consideration their ability to effectively coordinate with one another and the supervisor.
  • Upon the absence of one employee, the other must commit to providing coverage whenever possible.
  • Job share partners should be capable of performing all job functions within a position. Partners are normally responsible for all elements of the job.
  • Job share employees may work half-days, every other day, every other week, or whatever division the employees and supervisors believe best suits the job and operating needs of the department. Each partner should work half of the full-time position.
  • Job share partners do not necessarily receive the same rate of pay. If an employee transfers to a job share position at a higher rate of pay than the other employee, the higher rate may be retained. In most situations, the partners will be paid equivalent pay.
  • To request a job share arrangement, you must have completed one year of service at Macalester College, and have a recent performance review with a rating of good (3) or better.

Job Sharing Question and Answers

What happens to the position when one employee goes out on an approved leave?

If the leave will be for a short period of time, you may want to see if the job share partner can temporarily fill in. For an extended period of time the job share partner may be unable to work in a full time capacity. You may need to use a temporary employee of other team members to help fill the gap.

How do we facilitate communication between job share partners and the department?

Clarify the role of the job share partners with department members to alleviate misunderstandings as to which person department members can go to for assistance. Ideally, internal and external customers should be able to contact either job share partner with no delay in service. Job share partners should communicate with each other in a way that eliminates the need for repeat requests or discussions with customers.

How are position responsibilities allocated to each job share partner?

Typically both people should be responsible for all job functions. There may be certain functions that one employee is more comfortable doing and you may allocate the responsibilities accordingly. In a job share arrangement both employees should be capable of performing all job functions within the position. If they are not capable, you may have two part-time positions, not a job share arrangement.

How is performance measured for job share partners?

Performance evaluations will be based upon the partners' abilities to perform all the position responsibilities which have been assigned to them. Since many responsibilities are shared, the job share partners' ability to effectively coordinate with one another and the supervisor will be critical. Individual qualities that each person brings to the job will be factored into the evaluation as well.

How are benefits provided for job share partners?

Benefit set up will be based on each employee's proportional FTE. For example, if the total job is 1.0 FTE, and is shared equally, each employee will receive benefits based on .50 FTE. Job share employees should consult with Employment Services to get a detailed explanation of benefit eligibility.

What if one person terminates his/her position in the job share arrangement?

The Supervisor, Direct Report to the President of the appropriate area, and Employment Services will review the situation. The remaining job share partner may be asked to become full-time or a search for a new job share partner may begin. If there is a search for a new partner, the remaining partner may be asked to temporarily fill in the gap.

What if one job share partner requests full-time employment?

Opportunities within the College would be considered for the job share partner requesting full-time employment. If the other partner is terminating, the request for full-time by the remaining partner would normally be accommodated.

3.11.4 Telecommuting

Policy

It is the policy of the College to provide opportunities for employees to participate in telecommuting when such opportunities become available. Telecommuting is defined as a work arrangement which allows an employee to work a portion of their day or week off campus.

Eligibility

This policy applies to all Macalester staff employees, with the exception of those covered by collective bargaining agreements and student employees. Telecommuting arrangements will be considered for any situation where the employee can show that it will benefit him/herself, the work or project in progress, and the College in general.

Procedures

To request a telecommuting arrangement, begin by meeting with your supervisor to discuss your request. You and your supervisor should carefully review the "Guidelines"; and "Ideal Conditions for Telecommuting" provided below to determine whether telecommuting is a viable arrangement for your position. If you believe that your request falls within the guidelines and that the request will likely lead to a successful telecommuting arrangement, you need to develop a written proposal. A written proposal requesting a telecommuting arrangement should include:

  • Business case that demonstrates how a telecommuting arrangement will be mutually beneficial for you as well as Macalester
  • Proposed telecommuting schedule
  • Clarification of the duties of the job that will be performed at home
  • Communication plan for working with customers, colleagues, and your manager

Please remember that your supervisor may establish guidelines/parameters for telecommuting that are specific to your job and/or department. Supervisor support is a necessary condition for submitting a written proposal. Once your supervisor has reviewed and approved the written proposal, it should be forwarded to the Direct Report to the President for your area for approval. Finally, the written proposal needs to be forwarded to Employment Services for approval. The Employment Services Department is available to assist you throughout this process.

Guidelines

  • Telecommuting is a voluntary arrangement. Your supervisor, the direct report to the President for your area, and Employment Services must approve your telecommuting arrangement. The arrangement may be terminated at any time by either yourself or your supervisor upon reasonable notice.
  • Telecommuting is approved on a case-by-case basis. Telecommuting is not a viable work arrangement for all positions. Management will retain authority to approve or reject your telecommuting request following a review of the applicability of the telecommunting arrangement to the job in question.
  • Telecommuting does not change the fundamental terms and conditions of your employment with Macalester College. The same standards that apply to work performed at the College also apply to work performed at your telecommuting location.
  • Telecommuting must not interfere with your ability to be a member of a department. There may be meetings or activities on campus that require your presence on the day you would normally telecommute.
  • Telecommuting arrangements may not be a substitute for child care, elder care or personal endeavors.
  • To be eligible for a telecommuting arrangement, you must have completed two years of service at Macalester College.

Ideal Conditions For Telecommuting

Some job and employee characteristics lead to a greater likelihood of success with telecommuting arrangements. The following is a list of some of the characteristics that should be considered when approving a telecommuting arrangement. Possessing these characteristics does not guarantee that a telecommuting arrangement will be approved.

  • The job typically involves duties that can be scheduled and performed independently.
  • Many job duties can be completed through telephone communications or over a network.
  • The job typically involves individual project-orientated tasks, such as research, tabulating, etc.
  • The job should yield measurable performance results.
  • If the job involves supervision of others, the telecommuter must be able to manage by results (rather than observe the actual work), have excellent communication skills, and be able to coach and empower employees to be successful.
  • The telecommuter must be disciplined, self-motivated, well-organized and dependable.
  • The telecommuter must be able to perform a portion of the job without interaction with co-workers and with little dependence on Macalester resources (i.e., telecommuting should not require duplication of equipment). Any additional costs that result from a telecommuting arrangement will be borne by the employee.

Last Revision: 07/01/03